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Asia, India, Kumaun, Panch Chuli III, Attempt

Punch Chuli III, attempt. A 10-member expedition, sponsored by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and led by Purmal Singh Dharmashaku, claimed to have made the first ascent of 6312m Panch Chuli III from the east, with Tarun Roy from Delhi and three local high altitude porters reaching a point just a few meters below the narrow summit cornice on June 12. They had reportedly climbed via the east face and southeast ridge. However, it now seems that the claim is false. It would appear that the highest point reached was a col on the ridge leading to the main summit. The leader of the expedition has so far only provided a very scanty report and stated that all the summit pictures were subsequently stolen. The Indian Mountaineering Foundation, which organized the expedition, has now agreed that the claim is false and the whole trip remains under a cloud of controversy.

Harish Kapadia, Honorary Editor, The Himalayan Journal